February 19, 2016

Ken Hammond

During his eight-year NHL career, Hammond played in 193 NHL games with no fewer than eight different teams - San Jose, Los Angeles, Edmonton, New York Rangers, Toronto, Boston, Vancouver and Ottawa.

Bottom line is Hammond offered some traits that NHL teams coveted. He was a gritty, physical defender who contributed 47 points and 290 penalty minutes. He was noted as a good teammate, with a lengthy list of practical jokes ready at all times.

Hammond was born in Port Credit, Ontario in 1963, the son of Gord, a Canadian Hall of Fame lacrosse star. The family settled in London, Ontario a few years later. It was there that Hammond emerged as a hockey prospect.

Hammond was drafted 147th overall by Los Angeles back in the 1983 NHL draft. Rather than play for the hometown London Knights, Hammond was a teammate of Adam Oates and Daren Puppa at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The star defenseman helped the school to a national championship in 1985. He would later be inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame.

He would go on to a vagabond pro hockey career that, including minor league stops, saw him play in 14 cities over 12 years.

Hammond was one of the smartest hockey players in the league. Before playing in the NHL he earned a civil engineering degree from RPI. He continued focusing on his academics in his off seasons. It took him seven summers, but he achieved his MBA in finance and accounting from RPI by 1993.

After hanging up his skates he went on to a successful business career, starting his own dot-com venture before joining Ernst and Young, focusing on digital security. He also coached high school hockey near Cleveland, Ohio.

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